The Minerals Council of Australia Northern Territory Division and Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education have won the 2012 Australian Training Award for Industry Collaboration.

The program, which started in July 2010, produces job-ready workers for mining operations across Northern Australia. It is part of the minerals industry’s commitment to the training and economic advancement of indigenous Australians.

The award was announced by Senator Chris Evans Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research on Friday 16 November.

Almost 80 indigenous Australians have been through the training program since July 2010.

The pre-employment program re-creates a mining camp environment to help prepare trainees for 12 hour shifts on a two week on, one week off working roster. Participants work and train in a real world environment to help them achieve a basic set of life and workplace skills.

The program was developed following a decision by NT mining companies, NT and Australian Government agencies and land councils to improve the employment prospects for indigenous Australians across the top end.

Companies who have employed trainees from the program include Energy Resources Australia (ERA), Newmont Tanami Operations, BHP GEMCO, Territory Resources and HNC Australian Resources.